10 April 2008

Welcome to the Beaufort District Collection!

The ebb and flow of history has washed over the shores of Beaufort County, South Carolina for more than 400 years. Spanish, British, French, Scot, Confederate and United States flags have all flown over these islands. Port Royal and St. Helena Sounds have been important in maritime trade since colonial times. Military fortifications dot our landscape. Today the Sea Islands are known internationally as the home of Gullah culture and as wonderful places to retire. This special collection was created in 1992 to record this rich heritage. We call the collection the "Beaufort District Collection" (or BDC) to emphasize its core focus.

Areas of Interest:

  • Local History: The focus of the BDC is on Beaufort District history, culture, and environment. At one point in the past, Beaufort District included all or parts of current Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Allendale counties.
  • Newspapers & Magazines: Beaufort area newspapers are available on microfilm dating back to 1862. However, holdings are incomplete. A highly selective newspaper index covers 1862-1936. We keep back issues of Beaufort, Bluffton Breeze, The Islander, Sandlapper, and the South Carolina Historical Magazine.
  • Maps: The BDC currently houses over 700 maps of the local area. Most are reproductions. Few are listed in the online catalog.
  • Microfilm: We have microfilm of the federal censuses from 1790-1880, 1990-1930 for Beaufort, Hampton, and Jasper Counties, local newspapers, Sanborn Insurance Maps, some Beaufort City and County Council Minutes and 18 series of primary documents produced by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Microfilm holdings are listed in the online catalog.
  • Vertical Files: Extensive vertical files are maintained of newspaper and magazine articles, pamphlets, and other ephemera about topics of local interest. The list of subject headings used in the BDC vertical file drawers is available at all BCL Branch Library Reference desks.
  • Obituary File: A file of obituary notices drawn from Beaufort area newspapers is maintained in the BDC. The file is not complete. Current coverage is 1862-1984, 2008--. An online index to our obituary card holdings is found through our Library homepage.
  • Beaufort County Historical Society Papers: The BDC houses over 60 papers presented at meetings of the Beaufort County Historical Society. These provide information on many topics of interest: family histories, towns, historic sites, houses, and major events.
The Beaufort District Collection is a division of the Beaufort County Library, a department of Beaufort County Government of South Carolina.

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